Use Technology to Help With Meal Planning
by Rosa in California
It's Sunday night, my son is sleeping and I have to work on a meal plan. Nope. Last thing I want to do is WORK on something after playing and cleaning and cooking and shopping and yeah, you know how it goes.
When my son was starting solids I was so cautious about what he ate and how he ate it. Now that he's almost 2, I have a good routine. And yes, I fall off the routine and get back up again, that's life. So here is how my routine goes. It's Sunday, and I have to work on a meal plan. Work is not the word I want to use right now. I want to use the word PLAY, make something fun that can sometimes seem not so fun.
So, tonight I will take pictures of what's in my Freezer, Refrigerator, Pantry and Cabinets. This simplifies meal planning for me so much! I email the pictures to my work email so I can organize it while on break.
On Monday, when I'm on break at work and open my emails and see the pictures, I'm able to make my meal plans for the new week or two weeks sometimes! I use the pictures and a spreadsheet to plan it all out. The spreadsheet looks just like a calendar. Each day is filled with what I see in the pictures and what I want to make that day or ahead of time. I also have "take-out" days in case I see we have somewhere to go and won't be eating at home that day. I can print out the spreadsheet or just leave it on my computer to check in on when I need to. I use Google Sheets so I can see it at work or on my phone wherever I am.
I feel confident that I'm prepared on Monday when I pick up my son from school and already know what we're eating that night (and the entire week). If our normal routine changes, I'm not worried because I can switch that day's meal with another day that may be easier for us to handle.
After having my plan ready I'll usually make Monday's dinner in a big batch so we can eat leftovers. I'll also cut fruits or veggies and put them in containers for easy grab-and-go after school snacks. Tuesday morning I'll make a big batch of spinach waffles (great recipe for hidden veggies) or pancakes and freeze the rest of the batch to be used throughout the week. By the weekend we've gone through the week with no stressful breakfasts or dinners.
Added bonus, I can use the photos that are on my phone when I'm grocery shopping in case I forgot to add something to the list. This helps with budgeting too!
Rosa loves cooking and baking recipes with hidden veggies. She also loves going to Farmers Markets and finding fresh new seasonal fruits and veggies with her son Tiger.